2016 Honda Pilot: Second Scheduled Service, a.k.a B16
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 5, 2016
This always seems to happen to me. I get all set to take Vehicle A on my twice-annual road trip north to Oregon, only to discover it needs an oil change before I leave town. Such is the case with our 2016 Honda Pilot, which very recently started displaying a Maintenance Due Soon message along with the code for service that is due: B16.
The Pilot's oil-change interval is 7,500 miles, so this will be its second one. I wasn't quite sure of the exact mileage of the previous oil change, but the fact that there's a warning at all indicates the oil's remaining life has sunk to 10 percent or less, which is 750 miles.
My upcoming road trip will amount to more than 2,000 miles, so I had to handle it beforehand. I drove over to my local dealer, Hardin Honda, and got into the service line at 9:33 a.m.
Honda's 7,500-mile oil change intervals alternate from A to B to A to B, where A represents a simple oil change and B stands for an oil and filter change accompanied by additional inspections. Personally, I would never change the oil without changing the filter, too, as the A service implies. I find that odd.
The 1 code indicates a tire rotation, which also happens every 7,500 miles. At minimum, each service will alternate between A1 and B1 until it's time to deal with systems that have longer service intervals.
Those items are represented by codes 2 through 6, the meanings of which are described on page 142 of the manual. I find this system much easier to use that the typical messy and hard-to-read charts that are more common. Here the service schedule is burned into the Pilot's memory and comes out as a series of codes as the need to deal with them approaches.
The appearance of B16 told us it was time to add on number 6, a rear differential fluid change that comes due every 15,000 miles. This is something only AWD Pilots will ever require. If ours was a front-drive Pilot this service code would have stopped at B1.
I, for one, would never skip this rear differential oil change. This is a torque vectoring AWD system that uses wet clutch plates to bias torque left to right and front to rear according to a wide range of factors, and it all happens within the rear differential. The diff oil in question is the specially brewed fluid in which it all operates, and it needs to be swapped out on a regular basis.
For their part, the Hardin Honda staff was courteous and friendly, there was plenty of coffee, the waiting room was spotless and it was a large enough space that I could sit quietly out of earshot of the morning-show nonsense on the TV and get some work done.
The Pilot was ready in less than the estimated two hours, and as we walked toward the cashier my advisor told me that the inspection items looked shipshape, the tires were wearing evenly and the brakes had plenty of meat left on them. The total bill was $185.01, of which $3.47 was sales tax.
That breaks down to $81.05 for the "B1" oil change, tire rotation and inspections, of which 59.00 was labor, $19.95 was parts (oil, filter, new drain plug washer) and $2.10 was an oil disposal fee. Another $100.49 went for the rear differential fluid change, of which $75.00 was labor, $23.39 was parts and $2.10 was another fluid disposal fee.
So the Pilot's maintenance is up to date for another 7,500 miles. I can head north to Oregon later this week knowing that I won't have any dashboard reminders or service items to deal with along the way.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 13,415 miles